Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I've just been to pay my debts in the local newsagents.
Stormin' Norman, the alleged caretaker on my estate, and his new-found ally, the street-cleaner, Dipstick, were scrutinising my every move this morning as I emptied a bag of newspapers into the already very full recycling container. Their close attention made me slightly flustered and I had to keep reminding myself to keep hold of my keys.
They waited until I had tried putting a wine bottle in the clear glass bin before calling out, in unison, "You won't get anything in there, love. All full up". I decided to save myelf the embarrassment of trying to put anything in the green bin and went to the newsagents over the road for my daily Guardian.
As I clanked into the shop with my empties I realised I only had 50p of my original 70p left in my hand. I don't blame this on my stupidity but the two men gawping at me and putting me off my stride. I knew the owner would say don't worry; pay whenever. Unfortunatley, he wasn't there and I was faced with a complete stranger.
Most people in my situation would have simply said "give you the rest later, mate" or gone home but oh no. I ramble on with my croaking voice (not quite got over the cold) about the recycling and why you should always have a purse and various other random thoughts. He quite conceivably thought I was dangerous and ushered me, my paper and bottles out as quickly as possible.
As I slapped down the 20p this evening the owner almost collapsed with laughter. "So, you're the Mad Bag Lady".